One of my favorite things in life are long winding roads through vast swaths of open fields. I love driving on them, alone. Just me, my car, and some great tunes. This week I had the pleasure of taking highway 231 North off of I-90 just outside of Spokane.
The drive is a road warrior’s dream. Smooth pavement, sharp curves, long straights, and amazing scenery. Yes, I called myself a road warrior. I love to drive and often get giddy at the prospect of visiting new remote roads. The idea of tearing around the turns and blazing through the wide open landscapes thrills me to no end. I could do it for hours and usually do when given the opportunity.
It’s funny to me that Washington is called the Evergreen State. Of course, it’s true west of the Cascade Range where most of the populous lives. But the other 2/3rds of the state to the east looks like this.
It has fascinated me since I was a child how once you crest the top of the Cascade range and begin to drop down onto the eastern side, the landscape changes almost instantly from hills filled with moss, pine, and cedar to plateaus and fields filled with sage, grass, and wheat.
About every twenty to forty miles along these winding back roads, you’ll find small farming communities that are little more than a few grain silos, a post office, bar, and tractor supply store. Many of these towns have been around since the late 1800’s and have managed to keep some of the earlier buildings renovated, and still usable, or at least not crumbling into the ground.
This grade school in Ford, Washington was my favorite find along Highway 231. It stands next to a church and is the only building for miles and miles. Obviously, out of use today but quite large for such a rural area. It made me wonder how populated Ford was long ago. I tried to look up it’s history on the internet with very little luck. What I did find was a high school from the same area with similar construction that was build in 1911 so that is my best guess as to when it was erected.
This drive was an absolute pleasure. If you love a good drive, take Highway 231 or any round about back road through Eastern Washington. You won’t be disappointed.